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how to make a Yule log cake

Vegan Christmas Yule Log Cake (Bûche De Noël)

  • Author: thebananadiaries
  • Prep Time: 240
  • Cook Time: 13
  • Total Time: 4 hours 13 minutes
  • Yield: 20 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: French
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This entirely vegan Christmas Yule log cake tastes just like the classic Bûche De Noël, only entirely dairy free, egg free and gluten free! With an easy vegan chocolate sponge, dairy free chocolate hazelnut buttercream, and vegan chocolate ganache, you won’t believe how simple this Yule log is to put together and how delicious it is to eat!

Styling inspired by Sally’s Baking Addiction


Ingredients

Scale

Vegan Yule Log Cake:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, cake flour, or gluten free 1:1 baking flour, sifted *see note for gluten free option
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup aquafaba
  • 1 cup coconut sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup dairy free yogurt, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder for dusting the dish towel

Vegan Hazelnut Chocolate Buttercream:

  • 1 cup vegan butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered coconut sugar or powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp chocolate hazelnut spread, store bought or homemade
  • 23 tbsp dairy free milk

Vegan Ganache:

  • 1 cup vegan butter
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips

Vegan Meringue Mushrooms:

  • 1/2 batch vegan meringue cookies (see directions below for mushroom molding)

Additional toppings:

  • 1/2 cup sugared cranberries
  • 45 stems of fresh rosemary
  • 12 tbsp cacao powder
  • 12 tbsp powdered sugar

Instructions

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line a medium baking sheet that has walls with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the vegan yule log cake part: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cacao powder, and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer or stand mixer to whip the aquafaba first for 5 minutes, and then add in 1/2 cup coconut sugar, continuing to beat into stiff peaks***. It should not be runny or easily moveable. Then add in the applesauce, the remaining 1/2 cup coconut sugar, and the dairy free yogurt. Beat everything together until it’s combined.
  4. Add in the dry ingredients into the wet, and fold the mixture until there are no more dry streaks. Be careful not to over-mix.
  5. Pour the batter onto the baking sheet and use a spatula or offset knife to spread the batter until it reaches the edges of the baking sheet. Place into the oven to bake for 10-13 minutes, or until the cake is set and the toothpick comes out clean.
  6. While baking, lay a clean dish towel onto the counter and dust with the 2 tbsp of cacao powder. Once baked, remove from the oven and use oven mitts to carefully flip the cake onto the dish towel so that it’s aligned. The bottom should be covering the cacao powder. Then begin to carefully roll the width side (or shorter side) of the cake, the dish towel rolling with the cake and into the cake to help the cake cool in a roll. Once the cake is rolled, carefully transfer it to the fridge to chill for 2 hours. While chilling, prepare the vegan meringue mushrooms.
  7. Prepare the vegan meringue mushrooms: make the meringue according to the meringue cookie directions up until step 5, skipping the food coloring. Then spoon the meringue into a large piping bag with a round tip. Pipe 6-7 round and slightly flat mushroom caps, about 1″ in diameter. Then pipe 6-7 stems, pulling up about 1″ once you begin piping. Lightly use your pointer or pinky finger to smooth down any tip on the top of the mushroom cap and/or stems. Bake the meringue for 1 hour, rotating the meringue cookies every 15 minutes. Then turn the oven off and leave the cookies in the oven for 1 hour. After an hour, remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool while you frost the cake.
  8. Make the vegan hazelnut chocolate buttercream: once the cake is cooled, you can leave it in the fridge while you make the vegan chocolate hazelnut buttercream. In a large bowl, cream the vegan butter and chocolate hazelnut spread until fluffy. Add in the powdered coconut sugar and cacao powder, and continue beating until fluffy, smooth, and light. If you need a bit of help with the texture, you can add in the dairy free milk here in increments until you reach the desired texture of buttercream. 
  9. Carefully unroll your Yule log cake from the kitchen towel, leaving it on the towel. Spread the hazelnut buttercream onto the top of the cake until it reaches the edges. Then carefully re-roll your Yule log cake. You can use the help of the kitchen towel but do not roll the kitchen towel into the Yule log. Once the Yule log is rolled, carefully transfer the roll back to the fridge to chill while you make the vegan ganache.
  10. Make the vegan ganache: melt the vegan butter in the microwave until hot in a microwave-safe bowl. Add in the chocolate chips and stir until the chocolate chips are completely melted into the vegan butter. This should take about 3-4 minutes. Then place the bowl into the fridge to chill for 10 minutes.
  11. Assemble the vegan meringue mushrooms: use a butter knife to flatten the tip of the mushroom stem. Then using melted chocolate or a bit of hazelnut chocolate spread, spread a dot onto the top of the mushroom stem. Carefully place the mushroom cap on top and place the mushroom to rest on the baking sheet, mushroom cap on bottom. Repeat for the remaining mushrooms, and allow them to set for 5 minutes, while you’re frosting the outside of the cake.
  12. Assemble and frost the outside of the Yule log cake: Remove the cake and the ganache from the fridge, and place the cake onto your serving plate. Slice the Yule log so that one side is about 1/3 of the cake, and the other side is about 2/3. Slice on a slight diagonal. Take the smaller part of the Yule log and place it on the side of the main Yule log, having the diagonal side touching the other side of the yule log. Slice the ends of the Yule log if the frosting doesn’t entirely reach the edges of your cake. You can save those slices and enjoy them on the side! Now using the chilled ganache (it should still be moveable, just not runny anymore), spread the ganache onto the top and sides of the Yule log. Take a fork and run wiggly lines down the tops and sides of the Yule log to create bark. Place the vegan meringue mushrooms on the sides and tops of the cake, along with the sugared cranberries and sprigs of rosemary. 
  13. Finish: top the cake with cacao powder, especially on the mushrooms, and powdered sugar for snow. Slice and enjoy! Store any leftover slices in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Notes

* For gluten free, I recommend Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 baking flour.

** To make this cake nut-free, use all nut-free dairy free milk, butter, and yogurt products, and omit the chocolate hazelnut spread from the frosting

***A kind reader did some research and found that sometimes aquafaba needs to be whipped first on its own and then have the sugar added, as the sugar can make the aquafaba lose its air and stiffness. 

Keywords: Yule log cake, buche de noel, vegan yule log, vegan yule log cake, yule log cake, vegan swiss roll